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Category:    Home > Reviews > Reality TV > Entertainment Industry > Acting > British > Documentary > Culture > Puppeteering > History > Life’s Too Short: The Complete First Season (2012/HBO DVDs)/Rehearsal For A Sicilian Tragedy (2009/First Run DVD)

Life’s Too Short: The Complete First Season (2012/HBO DVDs)/Rehearsal For A Sicilian Tragedy (2009/First Run DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+/C-     Main Programs: C+/B-



The following actor-centered documentary programs about the world of arts & entertainment give us more insight into their subjects than most such release of late.



A Reality TV series where some scenes do seem faker than they need to be, Life’s Too Short: The Complete First Season (2012) takes place in England and features the longtime character actor Warwick Davis, bets know for being the main Ewok in Return Of The Jedi and one of the leads in Willow, so his LucasFilm work alone put him on the map.  He is also a very short person, so he has to deal with all the clichés and worse about being short, but takes it in stride.


He also runs a talent agency for persons his height and has some stories to tell, but the show seems more forced than it needs to be and despite a series of name celebrities showing up throughout, this all seemed to be more of a missed opportunity than anything else.  We’ll see if it lasts, but I expected more and was a bit disappointed.


Extras include a Making Of featurette, 10 Behind-The-Scenes clips, Deleted Scenes and Outtakes.



Roman Paska’s Rehearsal For A Sicilian Tragedy (2009) follows the great character actor John Turturro to Italy and specifically to Sicily to revisit it, explore it, discuss it and get involved in a very old, traditional puppet show whose roots go far back.  However, this becomes a deeper trip into what Sicilian identity is all about including clips from classic films, interviews with many people there and Turturro’s constant insight that goes with constant surprises (of and by him, as well as what catches him off guard) that it is a shame this only lasts 77 minutes.


It is also the only time outside of those old films and maybe a travelogue-type of program that I have seen such a good look at the modern Sicily dealt with at all, let alone so well.  This was a pleasant surprise and is definitely recommended.


Extras include text on Turturro and Paska, a Photo Gallery and trailers for other First Run releases.



The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on both DVD releases are shot on digital video (likely HD) and look good for that, but also have their share of motion blur, detail limits and even color limits.  Short is smoother since it was produced under easier circumstances, but that does not make it better.  The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound on Short and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Sicilian are location audio recordings that are on par with each other, even if the former tries stretching it out with music.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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